Bloomberg News

Chavez Calls Exxon’s Venezuela Arbitration Demands ‘Crazy’

January 04, 2012

Jan. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said today that Exxon Mobil Corp.’s demand for as much as $12 billion in international arbitration for assets seized in the South American country in 2007 was “crazy.”

Chavez, responding to the International Chamber of Commerce arbitration court’s December decision to award Exxon a net payment of $746.9 million, said on national television that Venezuela is a sovereign nation and that Exxon has been “arrogant” for not accepting a “friendly agreement.”

“The ICC only awarded Exxon 10 percent of what they wanted,” said Chavez. “You can make your own conclusions.”

Exxon Mobil was the first international oil company to abandon Venezuela after Chavez expropriated oil assets in the Orinoco heavy crude belt. The World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, or ICSID, is also due to rule on Exxon’s claim for its nationalized Cerro Negro project in a suit filed against the Venezuelan government.

--With assistance from Corina Pons and Jose Orozco in Caracas. Editors: Charles Siler, Jasmina Kelemen

To contact the reporter on this story: Nathan Crooks in Caracas at ncrooks@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at dcrofts@bloomberg.net


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